Questions tagged [bible]

The religious texts of Israeli origin, considered in whole by Christianity and in part (the Old Testament) by Judaism as holy.

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Which Roman Emperor lines up with this prophecy? [closed]

I know this is a history site but wanted to know which Roman Emperor could line up with this prophecy: When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his ...
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Are there historic references to sorcerers and their scrolls?

According to 'Acts 19:19' (of the Christian bible): A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Besides the Hebrews, were there any other ancient cults that used salt in animal sacrifices?

The Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 2:13) stipulates that all animal sacrifices must have salt. I was wondering if we find such a phenomenon of requiring salt in the cultic rituals of any other society in ...
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1 vote
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How was the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible produced?

I have recently been reading about verses in the New Testament that have been claimed by Jewish Scholars (ex. Rabbi Tovia Singer) to be corruptions of the real Hebrew old testament. In most cases, ...
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What Evidence Do We Have For Samaritans Living In Babylon in the 6th or 5th Century BC?

Does anybody have any sources to show a Samaritan population in Babylon during the 6th or 5th Century BCE? 2 Kings 17 records the deporting of five different nations into the cities of Samaria And ...
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12 votes
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Were lay people ever forbidden to read the Bible in the Christian world?

I'm interested in all the historical accounts, if any, where the Bible was forbidden/censured to be read, by order of secular powers in the Christian world, i.e. mainly Roman Empire or the Byzantine ...
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Were Egyptian monarchs referred to by the title "pharaoh" alone, without using their proper names, from around 1500 BCE until the 10th century BCE?

In his book Ani Maamin, Rabbi Joshua Berman makes a comment about the usage of the term "Pharaoh" in the Book of Exodus, indicating that it was in line with the standard conventions in Egypt ...
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Can history shed any light on the "secret arts" of the Egyptian magicians who turned their staffs into serpents as claimed by Exodus 7:11-12?

The biblical story of Exodus 7:11-12 talks about the alleged existence of some "secret arts" that the magicians of Egypt made use of to accomplish the feat of turning staffs into serpents: ...
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12 votes
3 answers
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When during their construction did Bible-era Jewish temples become "holy"?

As is well documented in the Bible and elsewhere, in Bible times, the innermost area of a temple (often referred to as the Holy of Holies) was only permitted to be occupied by the head priest, and ...
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Which Commiphora species produces the Biblical Myrrh?

The Biblical Myrrh resin is said to come from either Commiphora Myrrha or Commiphora Habessinica (Abyssinian). Which is it? Here are two sites saying it's C. Habessinica: 1, 2. Here is a site ...
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Why was the Gilgamesh flood tablet such a sensation?

In 1872 George Smith translated the famous Flood Tablet (tablet XI of the Standard Babylonian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh), causing a sensation due to its striking similarity to the story of Noah'...
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Was the Hebrew Bible modified and rewritten from Aramaic to Hebrew after the death of Jesus?

For the past several days I am seeing an advertisement from the Israel Institute of Biblical studies which says that the language of the original bible was Hebrew. As far as I know, the mother tongue ...
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2 votes
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Why did Babylonians/Persians use the ascension year method?

[12] Then Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers went out to the king of Babylon; and the king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took him prisoner....
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Is there an example of 19th century non-believer who fluently alludes to Scripture?

I am curious whether there is an example of a 19th century historical figure who 1) did not consider himself/herself a Christian, but 2) alluded to or quoted Bible passages fluently in his/her speech ...
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Have historians attempted to reconstruct the polytheistic Semitic pantheon, dividing it into sub pantheons?

Historians reconstruct pantheons to better understand their role in society (see below for examples of reconstruction as a historical method). Has there been any attempt to apply this historical ...
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1 answer
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Was there a biblical prophet whos position was validated by the fall of Egypt? [closed]

I thought that there was a prophet who was particularly opposed to allying with Egypt. Egypt subsequently fell and his position became validated. The Judeans lasted a little longer and then came under ...
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Does the Proto Canaanite ‘mother serpent’the Pyramid text of Unas/Wenis have another known name or epithet?

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070129100250.htm The mother serpent in the Pyramid text of Unas/Wenis mentions the mother serpent in Proto Canaanite. Is this mother serpent known to ...
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What is the significance behind "40 days" that often appears in the Bible?

Several times within the Old and New Testament of the Bible there are notes pertaining to a long time as "40 days," as in 40 days of fasting, rain, traveling, etc. Why 40? Is there a factual ...
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Is biblical Joseph story historically valid? [closed]

What are the non-scriptural evidence (if any) on biblical Joseph story, where he becomes Grand Vizier of Pharaonic Egypt in 15th century BCE. I know that the pharaoh is unnamed, and the era is close ...
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Was the Apostle the first Peter?

Is there an attested use of the Greek word "petros" (meaning 'stone') as a given name, before it was given to Peter the Apostle? Note: The name Jesus gave to Peter was most likely 'Kepha,' since ...
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Was Freud the first to say that Judaism borrowed from Atenism?

Every source I mention seems to attribute this to Freud. Was there an earlier proponent? I realized the question as originally written was horrifically vague. I'm not looking for scholars before ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What is the oldest inscription of Yahweh found?

Is it true that Assyriologist Friedrich Delitzsch found an inscription of Yahweh around 2500 BC? I've heard of the Stela of Mesha dated around 900 BC but I also came across Friedrich Delitzsch and ...
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3 votes
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What was the relation between the biblical king Herod and the Parthian king Orodes II?

What was the relation between the biblical king Herod and the Parthian king Orodes II who was named Hyrodes Anaridus on coins? The son of Orodes II, Pacorus invaded Judea, however I could not find ...
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Do historians support the existence of brothers to Jesus?

Jesus does not have a brother in some Christian traditions, his mother Mary is a perpetual virgin. For instance the Catholic church holds this theory as a theologoumenon, namely a theological ...
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5 votes
5 answers
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Did Egyptian civilization start from North to South or vice versa?

I've been reading archeological claims that say that the ancient Egyptians came from the South and that the first chiefdoms and kings were in the south. Some also claim that there is a crown of ...
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Is the ancient altar with petroglyphs at the foot of Jabal Maqla Mt. Sinai?

Lately there has been an increasing awareness among biblical scholars that Mt. Sinai is in Arabia and not in the Sinai peninsula as has been previously thought. Jabal Maqla (or Jabal Al Lawz as the ...
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Have historians offered interpretations on why the disciples claimed they saw a resurrected Jesus? [closed]

It is generally accepted by historians who studied the Bible that Jesus almost certainly existed and was crucified. We also know that his disciples claimed Jesus appeared to them after his death. ...
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3 answers
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What attributes did Yahweh have before becoming a monotheistic deity?

Did it "belong" to another people before he was adopted by Hebrews? Is there any anthropological reconstruction about all this monotheistic thing?
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1 vote
2 answers
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What is a "tar shower?"

I'm reading about Sodom and Gomorrah on wiki when I come across this: "One such idea is that the Dead Sea was devastated by an earthquake between 2100 and 1900 BCE. This might have unleashed showers ...
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3 answers
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Were Moses & Abraham historical figures?

History is not my area of specialization. I am curious to know about the historicity of Moses and Abraham from the viewpoint of modern critical scholarship. It would be great if references are ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Were women in 1st century Israel not trusted as witnesses in court?

A common thing I've heard growing up is that women living in Israel in the 1st century couldn't be witnesses in a court of law because [reasons]. The times that I've heard this said it has also ...
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17 votes
2 answers
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Are there non-Biblical references to collecting foreskins?

The Old Testament is awfully big on foreskins (e.g. Genesis 34 and 1 Samuel 18:27). In particular, the Israelites are fond of collecting the foreskins of their enemies, usually after they have been ...
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5 votes
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What's the story behind the making of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible?

The Complutensian Polyglot Bible was the first printed polyglot of the entire Bible and was, from what I can gather, a pretty complex scholarly effort in which many different scholars had to come ...
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Is there any relationship between 666 and Roman numerals (DCLXVI)? [closed]

I just realized that 666 is DCLXVI in Roman numerals (all numerals in sequence from largest to smallest). I have checked wiki but there was nothing mentioned about it. Are there any theories or ...
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9 votes
1 answer
330 views

Is Lady Arabella Stuart wearing a Jewish symbol?

In this portrait, Lady Arabella Stuart, a member of the Tudor royal court, is shown wearing a hexagram, presently known as the Star of David. It is unclear from the highest resolution photograph ...
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1 answer
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Are there any texts/translations of the 4 main Egyptian creation myths?

According to wikipedia there are 4 main Egyptian Creation Myths. These appear to be: Ogdoad creaton myth of Hermopolis Creation myth of Atum from Heliopolis Creation myth of Ptah from Memphis ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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Can a source be considered 'primary' if it is not written by an eyewitness and partly based on another source?

The example I have in mind is Luke's Gospel, but the question is not about that source in particular, I'm interested in the terms 'primary' and 'secondary' in the technical sense they would be used by ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Differences between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the books of Moses [closed]

On Wikipedia, I read that the texts from Exodus in the Dead Sea scrolls contain some differences from the canonical version. However, I couldn't find them online. Can someone give me a few examples?
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2 votes
2 answers
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What's the relationship between Solomon's Temple and Christians? [closed]

An Evangelical-Pentecostal church has built a huge replica of Solomon's Temple in Brazil. But why Solomon's Temple? What does it have to do with Jesus Christ and the Christian faith? It's very odd to ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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How do we know that prostitutes were very common/popular in Corinth around Jesus' time?

I just started reading 1 Corinthians today, and one of the footnotes in my Bible (NLT, Life Application Study Bible) has this: ...there were more than a dozen pagan temples employing at least a ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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How long did it take to copy a Bible during the early propagation of the Christian faith?

Christianity was spread through the apostolic work of people manually copying and translating the Bible in different languages. Considering the style, stylized objects, etc and the resources they had ...
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4 answers
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What is the historical basis for the Exodus?

As a sideline to the question How Long Did the Belief in the Egyptian Sun God Ra Last?, the comments have become a long discussion on the historicity of the Exodus. Rather than have pages of comments ...
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Where is Havillah, the land of gold, described in Genesis?

Genesis 2:11-12 describes a land called Havillah, where there is very good gold. Were there historical attempts made to locate this land, and what do we know about such expeditions if they did exist?
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1 vote
4 answers
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What is the age of the oldest written proof of Christianity? [closed]

I don't mean the approximate time when a certain book in the bible was probably written but the age of the oldest copy of a book in the new testament, or other corroborating literature.
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Prisons and prison laws in Old Testament times?

Prisons where evidently known to Israelites quite early (see the story of Joseph). Nevertheless, I could find no legislation in the Torah on imprisonment - it seems that this form of punishment was ...
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Can the historical records in the Bible be considered as accurate/factual records? [duplicate]

This question was already asked but closed. This is my initial understanding of the Bible, that it consists of the following: Historical "facts", as there are physical evidences such as the Moabite ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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What is known about early history of Judaism?

What do we know about early history of Judaism? Do we know the timeline when these modern traits of modern Judaism developed: 1 Lifestyle restriction that we now find in Torah, such as the ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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When was the modern manuscript for the Torah agreed upon?

(This question is also asked on judaism.SE for a different approach.) Considering that variations have occurred in the Torah's text over time (I think the Gemara/Talmud may mention events where a few ...
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4 votes
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When was the Yemenite Jewish community isolated from the rest of the Jewish world?

The Yemenite Torah and Tanach is almost completely identical to that of the Jews in Europe, but there are a few minor spelling differences. When were the communities separated such that these spelling ...
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Are the following 5 tenets of historical record examination considered complete today?

In his lectures recorded in the book Historical Evidences of the Truth of the Scripture Records, p. 39, (https://archive.org/details/historicaleviden1862rawl), George Rawlinson outlines 4 laws or ...
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